A quarantine for an insect that destroys ash trees has been expanded to five more Tennessee counties.
The emerald ash borer was confirmed in Cumberland and Bledsoe counties last month.
Franklin, Marshall, Rutherford, Trousdale and Williamson counties are now under restriction for the movement of ash trees and ash tree products after the insect was discovered in traps in those counties.
Tennessee now has 46 counties under state and federal emerald ash borer quarantine, which prohibits the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber and other material that can spread the insects.
Agriculture officials are working to identify infestation using purple box traps placed in ash trees across the state.
The ash borer made its way from Asia to the United States in the 1990s. It was first detected in Tennessee in 2010.
State lawmakers calling for a bipartisan review of Tennessee’s corrections system following a spasm of violence, an escape and complaints from prison guards of being overworked. The Department is suffering from a manpower shortage after it dropped a traditional 40 hour work week for employees to save on overtime pay. In separate incidents Friday, 11 inmates at 2 west state prisons were stabbed during cell fights. A minimum security inmate escaped from the Nortwest Correctional Complex and was recaptured later in the day. Some guards at the Bledsoe County Corrections Complex outside Pikeville say they have wrecked cars on the way home from 16 straight hours on duty. Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell says the incidents are “concerning”. Democrat Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh says problems will grow unless changes are made in how Corrections Officers are paid and scheduled.
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is joining a push to defund Planned Parenthood following the release of a controversial video that allegedly portrays representatives of the group bargaining to sell fetal tissue. Corker, a Chattanooga Republican, says he’s “deeply disturbed” by the secretly recorded tape, and says Planned Parenthood has a “casual disregard” for human life. Corker’s move would strip federal funds for Planned Parenthood, but continue support for other women’s health care services. Planned Parenthood says it’s affiliates can be reimbursed for expenses related to fetal tissue donation. It says the process provides for a range of medical research.
Drunken driving charges against a 1st term Nashville Democrat State Representative have been tossed out. Rep. Bill Beck was arrested and charged with DUI in April, the arresting officer says Beck’s truck drifted into a turn lane, and the lawmaker had a blood shot eyes and slurred speech following a traffic stop. Beck denied he had been drinking and refused a field sobriety test and blood alcohol test. Judge Phillip Massey says the Metro Nashville officer did not have reasonable suspicion to make the stop. Massey says a video showed Beck briefly veering from his lane something the Judge says he does regularly while driving. Beck says he’s pleased with the ruling.
Watch the Arrest Video Via The Tennessean: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2015/07/29/watch-state-rep-bill-becks-dui-arrest/30815267/
A long-time bathroom and kitchen fixtures manufacturer says it will build it’s 1st new plant in the United States in 25 years in Rutherford County. American Standard brands says the manufacturing and distribution complex planned for a Laverne location will add about 600 new jobs to the Middle Tennessee economy. A company spokesman says a quality workforce and favorable business environment caused American Standard to pick the mid-state for expansion.
German automaker Volkswagen has motored past Toyota to post the highest global sales in the 1st half of this year. Volkswagen led by growth in it’s Audi and Porsche Divisions, sold some 5.04 million vehicles worldwide through June. That tops Toyota sales by about 200,000 vehicles. Volkswagen makes the Passat sedan in Chattanooga. The company is spending $900 million to expand the facility with plans to make a new sport utility model there starting next year. The expansion expected to add at least 2,000 new jobs. Manchester’s M-Tek Plant makes interior trim for Volkswagen.